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Current Vascular Pharmacology


ISSN (Print): 1570-1611
ISSN (Online): 1875-6212

Identification and Treatment of Patients with Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolaemia: Information and Recommendations from a Middle East Advisory Panel

Author(s): Abdullah Al-Ashwal, Fahad Alnouri, Hani Sabbour, Abdulraof Al-Mahfouz, Nasreen Al-Sayed, Maryam Razzaghy-Azar, Faisal Al-Allaf, Khalid Al-Waili, Yajnavalka Banerjee, Jacques Genest, Raul D. Santos and Khalid Al-Rasadi

Volume 13, Issue 6, 2015

Page: [759 - 770] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/1570161113666150827125040


We present clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (HoFH) in the Middle East region. While guidelines are broadly applicable in Europe, in the Middle East we experience a range of confounding factors that complicate disease management to a point whereby the European guidance cannot be applied without significant modification. Specifically, for disease prevalence, the Middle East region has an established epidemic of diabetes and metabolic syndrome that can complicate treatment and mask a clinical diagnosis of HoFH. We have also a high incidence of consanguineous marriages, which increase the risk of transmission of recessive and homozygous genetic disorders. This risk is further augmented in autosomal dominant disorders such as familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), in which a range of defective genes can be transmitted, all of which contribute to the phenotypic expression of the disease. In terms of treatment, we do not have access to lipoprotein apheresis on the same scale as in Europe, and there remains a significant reliance on statins, ezetimibe and the older plasma exchange methods. Additionally, we do not have widespread access to anti-apolipoprotein B therapies and microsomal transfer protein inhibitors. In order to adapt existing global guidance documents on HoFH to the Middle East region, we convened a panel of experts from Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran and Bahrain to draft a regional guidance document for HoFH. We also included selected experts from outside the region. This panel statement will form the foundation of a detailed appraisal of the current FH management in the Middle Eastern population and thereby provide a suitable set of guidelines tailored for the region.

Keywords: Homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia, prevalence, diagnosis, treatment, genetics.

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